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Glee S05E03: "The Quarterback"


Admittedly, I was a little worried—okay, a lot worried—going into "The Quarterback." I was 90 percent sure that Glee wouldn't turn Cory Monteith's death into a pop-cover-laden circus, but then there was that pesky 10 percent that remembered hearing about the school shooting episode and thinking "they wouldn't dare eff that up," and then we got whatever "Shooting Star" was supposed to be. 

That said, Glee's creators and producers and writers clearly put a lot of thought and consideration into "The Quarterback," with the show itself acknowledging past sins through Sue, who stated that the best tribute to Finn would be "not making a self-serving spectacle of our own sadness"—something that Glee obviously tried very, very hard not to do. 

Personally, I agree with many of your sentiments in the early comments you've posted about this episode, especially that this isn't necessarily an episode that should be picked apart. That sentiment would probably be different for me if "The Quarterback" was actually terrible and tasteless, but it wasn't. It had its flaws, to be sure: By stating that Finn died three weeks before the events of the episode, the in-universe timeline was called into question. Was Finn already gone when everyone was dancing around to Beatlemania? 


The decision not to give Finn Hudson an official cause of death is also proving to be slightly divisive. This is where Kurt came in, picking up where Sue's fourth-wall acknowledgement left off, arguing that the most important thing about Finn (and Cory Monteith, by extension) isn't how he died, but how he lived and what he left behind. The explanation works for me, but it won't work for everyone, and that's fine. One of biggest strengths of "The Quarterback" was its focus on individual grief: Every single character who came to Finn's memorial service reacted his death differently. Everyone needed something different in order to move on. I don't need Finn Hudson to have a cause of death, but it's okay if you do. 


I don't want to rant about "The Quarterback" because it would feel like ranting about someone's funeral and that's tacky. We can certainly discuss "The Quarterback," though. The use of Rent's "Seasons of Love" initially had me cringing, but it worked well as an opening number, mirroring the song's role in the original musical pretty well. In the stage version of Rent, "Seasons of Love" is just kind of plunked there in the middle of the show, after intermission, and it's not entirely clear whether the actors are in-character, or whether it's just meant to be some sort of standalone performance—especially coming right from intermission. It forces the audience to pause and reflect on what happened in the first act (which is quite a lot) and prepare for the inevitability of the second act, which isn't exactly all rainbows and puppies. By featuring "Seasons of Love" and doing it in the very beginning of the episode, Glee forced itself, and its audience, to slow down, pay attention, think some thoughts. In the Rent musical, it's not entirely clear where "Seasons of Love" falls in the characters' timelines, and with that in mind, maybe Glee's fuzzy chronology regarding Finn's death was a little more deliberate.  


Individual responses to loss can also be kind of weird. Cue the Kurt-Santana-Puck-Schue battle over Finn's jacket and Puck's vandalism of Finn's memorial tree and, maybe, even Sue's utter refusal to "learn" from her mistreatment of Finn over the years and her regret that he died thinking she hated him. What lesson is there to learn? Be nice to other people? That doesn't change what happened to Finn or what Sue now has to live with. 

The grief we saw in "The Quarterback" was palpable to the point of being kind of uncomfortable. When a cast member dies during the run of his or her show, the lines between reality and fiction are momentarily blurred. While "The Quarterback" was, outwardly, a means to put the character of Finn to rest, the fact remains that the actors playing all of Finn's friends, were also Cory Monteith's friends, and it probably wasn't long before this episode was filmed that they buried their real friend and said goodbye for real. Television, by its very nature, isn't a "private" thing, yet "The Quarterback" felt intensely private, as though we were invited to share in a very important experience with a cast and crew who may otherwise have fought very hard to retain that privacy. 


In the past, I've accused Glee of taking itself too seriously at the wrong times and not seriously enough when storylines warrant it, and I'm reluctant to refer to Finn's death as a "storyline" because knowing Glee, when the show returns on November 7, it'll be like none of this never happened and maybe, maybe, that wouldn't be a bad thing. Who am I kidding, yes it would be. But this is one instance where Glee's inability to formulate a coherent message works in its favor. Sue postulated that maybe there's no message here, "maybe he's just gone," and with those words, Glee has managed to be so true to life, even in its infuriatingly unrealistic (at times) fantasy land, that all I can really say here is "well played, Glee.



MUSICAL NOTES

– Lea Michele's "Make You Feel My Love" was so amazing.

– Most of the original cast appeared regardless of their current status on the show, but there was no Quinn and no Brittany. Did you miss them?

– LOL @ the pamphlets Emma gave Tina. I think we needed that.


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My guess for the timeline continuity issues was that this episode was originally shot as the season opener and they realized that maybe they didn't want to start off the season with so much misery. The Beatles episodes felt completely out of place in the timeline (what US school, ever, anywhere, has prom in the first two weeks of school? I'm not buying the whole "we're combining all the dances into one" crap they tacked in).

Anyway, I think I'm done with this show-I was mostly hanging around to see how the memorial went, and I thought it was amazing, but the other episodes this season have just proven to me that this show has run it's course. As soon as they gave Mary Sue Rachel the lead in Funny Girl (after she kicked a cop in the head while flailing her legs around two feet from the producer) rather than sticking with her joining the rest of the NY crew in struggling to make it, I knew I was done. I suppose I might give them one more episode, and I'll come back for any Brittany might be in, but I'm 95% sure I'm out.
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Honestly there is something that you need to consider - from the start we KNEW that the original cast would eventually get out of high school and move on with their lives and have new Glee members in the rehearsal room.

What to consider??? How many shows on TV are like this today? Shows that are musicals, that expose us to quality singing, dance and doesn't shy away from the issues that teens and twentysomethings are facing in the world today?

Maybe you need to take your critical glasses off and sit back and enjoy the show for what it is worth. It does embrace current issues - but it is a sit-com...not meant to be based in actual fact. The Quarterback is one of the only shows they have done that has really addressed something that was concrete and real to their world.

But if you have decided to write the entire show off because you can't believe the plot lines - which again, I have to point out, sit-com, not a documentary on high school.......then, that is your choice and decision. Which is something that Glee has always stood for - allowing an individual their own choices and decisions.
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about your timeline issues, the show split 1 year across 2 seasons, so season 5 doesn't actually start at the beginning of the school year..
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I was sad that Brittany and Quinn weren't there, especially Quinn seeing how close they were and i would've been interested to see how the girls dealt with the loss. But I completely understand how busy the lovely and talented Diana is and Heather just had her baby a couple weeks ago so yes, I was sad they weren't there but understood.

As for the episode, I thought it was very well done. Yes, it was personal because it wasn't just acting. It was characters grieving for Finn as well as friends grieving for Cory and that is something that could not be avoided. I honestly cried my eyes out during this episode.

I am interested to know how Finn died but I think the episode was right in making Finn's life more important than his death. Also, I wouldn't want to see Cory's death belittled in any way, you know?

Lea's song was amazing. And I think Puck and Beiste's talk about "What are you gonna do with your line?" was one of the best metaphors to ever come out of Glee.

Overall I have to give Glee a round of applause for this one. We're gonna miss you Cory.

PS- I hope that the show takes place without Finn's death hanging over anyone's head and bringing the show down but I do not want it to be compeltely forgotten. It needs to be used in the right way and I hope Glee can accomplish that.
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I just cried my eyes out through the whole episode. Enough said.
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You weren't alone crying your eyes out thru the whole episode - I think the whole Gleek nation was right there with you. I know I was. I downloaded it from Hulu and have watched it since and I still can't watch it with out crying my eyes out.
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This was a really well done episode.
Kurt stating at the beginning that the cause of death doesn't matter and that we should focus on Finn's life was exactly the same message all the actors delivered about Cory's death. The whole episode felt weirdly 'real' and I'm OK with that.

All performances were amazing. I loved they focused on the 'old' glee members instead of the new ones because they were who shared with Finn/Cory the most. I missed Brittany, Quinn, Sugar, Joe, Rory and Lauren, but I understand that not everybody is willing to show their grief on public television and also that the producers couldn't make room for everybody.

I think the three-weeks thing was a little strange but it worked fine in the end. For me it's obvious that the Beatles episodes occurred *before* Finn's death, so I don't have problems with that. But even if that's not the case I don't think that matters. The whole point of the episode was to say goodbye to a beloved character and to the actor that played him, and they handled that in a very good way.

Finally, I must say that I watched this episode on the anniversary of my grandmother's death so I could totally connect with the feelings of both, characters and actors. It was a really sad episode, but a very good one too.
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I loved this episode! I really felt the real emotions! But i would have loved to see some flashbacks from the time when Finn/Cory was a part of Glee. That would have make me cry so damn more! <3

RIP Cory!
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I read somewhere that some of the actors didn't want to appear in this episode and I can't say I blame them. I was surprised there were this many in the episode to begin with. For the story, it didn't really make any sense that Quinn and Brittany weren't there. But I find it wholy believable that Dianna and Heather opted out of appearing.

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I cringed through some of the episode, but only because Finn was made out to be a hero which he wasn't.
However, that's a problem I've had with the show since day one so I shouldn't have been surprised that it was featured in this episode. The rest was mostly just sad. The emotions were real and therefore it was just gutwrenching to watch. Of course, the best and most honest scene was during Lea Michele's performance and the actors were left to their own devices and delivered beautifully as always. The problem with this show was never the actors, but the abhorrent storytelling.
I didn't need a memorial for Finn Hudson, but I am glad and very moved we got this beautiful send off to Corey Monteith.
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awesome episode! I'll miss Finn but you could see the cast members feeling it. It made me feel it more and the songs were chosen and done well.
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This was a very sad episode and i cried really hard....some scenes...
When kurt with his parents were putting Finns stuff in boxes...when the mother broke, i broke too..
The scene with Santana..was so sad...
In the end with Rachel/ Lea....so much respect for her...it made me really sad...
When Schue cried in the end...
First i wanted to know a cause of death, but somehow it was fine like this...
RIP Finn Hudson!!
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I thought Quinn should have been in this episode. I immediately noticed that she was missing. I thought about Brittany afterwards, and it would have been nice if she showed up as well.
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With all respect for Cory this was a very boring episode of Glee in a long time. I caught myself doing anything but watching the tv. It had its moments but overall not my favorite!
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What was the thing with Mr Shuester letting Puck take the fall for the missing jacket??
Does that mean in future he is going to set his kids up to take the fall for his illegal activities!?! Weird, just weird. That was strange and somewhat off putting.
It must have been a very difficult episode to make not only for the actors but all the crew as well.
But I really think they should have shown footage of Finn/Cory - memories or something.
And the whole 3 week thing - why not have it that they had just come back from the funeral? That would have made more sense!
It was as though - oh, we have finished paying tribute to the Beatles so now we can squeeze in some grieving for our friend....not too sure about that.
But hey it must have been very difficult for all of them.
It wasn't perfect but it wasn't bad at all.
RIP Finn
And RIP Cory Monteith - what a waste of a life.
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Wow you're insensitive
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Not really...probably too cynical
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Very well done overall. There were a couple nitpicky moments but, like you said, this isn't the episode to be overly critical. The end result was an emotional, raw episode that served to contemplative as well. The effort that went into writing it was definitely evident.

Lea Michele and Rosy Rosemont broke my heart. It's still literally in tons of pieces in front of me. While I fully admit to crying throughout the episode, I was downright a sobbing mess during their scenes.

I agree that it was almost uncomfortable at times. I remember sitting there thinking, man these aren't fake tears they are 100% the real deal, and I'm sitting here watching everyone cry for Cory. It does make you feel like you're intruding on a private moment, but it makes for damn powerful television.

I liked the decision to not disclose his manner of death. I think I would have been ok with whatever they decided as long as it wasn't drug related, but the how isn't that important in the grand scheme of things. But I can see the other side of the argument and I wouldn't have been pissed to find out either.
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I was tearing up when Finn's mom was crying and that was like the first 15 minutes of the episode. Santana's rendition brought me to tears again and Lea's song once again brought it back. urgh.
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I did miss both Quinn and Brittany. Felt kind of "off" that they weren't there to participate in the grief of losing Finn.
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Sorry duh, totally forgot Quinn. I knew there was someone else. And what's up w/Tina being so freakin' insensitive?! Kept going back and forth btwn laughing & crying. So heartbreaking...

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Yes, I did, also Sugar. I don't like it when someone isn't around and they don't even say, "Oh BTW, Brittany says she's sorry, but..." I know in the beginning Kurt says in that voiceover that everyone who could make it, did. But it still felt incomplete to me. As well as the lack of a cause of death. I understand that wasn't necessary for some people. I loved your review tho'. And yes it did mostly feel very private and intimate to me as well. Rarely does that happen in television, fiction and real life being such mirrors of ea. other.

I believe a lot of the vague bits were on purpose, but I've been feeling like I'm wondering too much for the last 3 weeks. It's just chronologically bizarre. It makes me feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone. Or the characters are. There's a definite Twilight Zone-y thing going on here.
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I was very much afraid but this episode was oslely about Finn and how people that love him deal with his death. I appriciate they focused on the original characters and that the new ones played just teh chorus.
The performances slayed me, I was glad for Puck and Shannon's scenes, Santana and Sue's second talk, Rachel. Will and the plaque. The one that left me breathless with sobs was the Carole, Burt & Kurt scene. It was so simple but it just expressed it all.
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I was also very afraid that they would ruin it but I liked this episode. It certainly had its mistakes but overall it was good.
I liked that almost everybody was there (Morris is pregnant as far as I know but why was Agron absent?) and that the focus lay on the old Glee-members.
At first, I was irritated by Puck's very strong reaction but I forgot how important Finn's friendship must have been to him. Someone already said that but it's easy to forget that Glee used to have real characters with real friendships. And it was nice to see Burt again.
It was heartbreaking to see Kurt wearing Finn's jacket all the time.
I also liked that they didn't mention a cause. Drugs would have been the wrong decision. Finn never had a drug problem and Finn and Cory aren't the same person. I wonder what they do next episode. At least Kurt and Rachel should still be distressed by his death.
I liked Lea Michele's singing for once. Overall, I think the songs fit into the episode.
Mary Ann, I think I feel the same about what you said about the lines between reality and fiction blurring - it felt very real because the actors' emotions were real and we all know that Monteith is dead. And this made the episode good but also, yes, uncomfortable.
And, quite important to me: I had to try really hard not to cry - and I almost never cry because of TV or a book or the like (after the departing of Doctor Who's Ponds I was in shock for two days but I didn't cry).
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They handled this episode correctly. I see the other sides of the argument where people wanted to see drugs addressed, but this episode was a memorial, not a PSA, done by the character's and actor's real friends. It occurred to me only afterward it would be nice to have a song from Kurt and Will, but both of the characters' feelings were clearly addressed and could have very well been a personal choice of the actors not to sing. The fact the entire cast was able to get through the episode and make this tribute is in itself impressive.
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I found watching this very emotional and it did bring me to tears, something very rare for a tv episode. After losing itself so much recently it was a great relief that they did this right and that the episode is a worthy testimonial. And the songs were performed with such feeling and skill.

I applaud the decision to not focus on the reasons for the death. Since the death wasn't a surprise to us then what would be the point in creating a soapy tale for it, that would be most inappropriate. As would incorporating parts of Monteith's own incident. The actor and the character are not the same person and thrusting a drug subplot onto Finn without a plausible justification would unfairly damage the character for perpetuity.

It would be callous to dwell on how Monteith's death dramatically helped the episode but I will say that many parts of this episode seemed a throwback to better days with stories involving characters that were actually interesting actually having adult discussions, from the parents to the alumni to the faculty. And back to the singing - Michele was much better here than she has been in a very long time. I was getting sick of her heavy-handed delivery but here she had such nuance and subtlety. Mercedes was also very good.
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Better days-- you're right that this was a reminder. Characters had real friendships between one another, and it was obvious many of those were carried by Finn, specifically with Puck, Kurt, Rachel and Will.
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Santana's breaking down really broke my heart
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Wow. Powerful episode - balled through the whole thing. I had to turn it off for a while when the mother was crying - being a mother myself, imagining the pain was unbearable. Hated Will's behavior in the episode. Keep waiting for him to act like an adult and be a role model for these kids but hasn't happened yet. My favorite part was Emma giving Tina the pamphlets. For some reason the writers are making Tina awful but, I wish they would have given it a rest during this episode. Missed Brittany and Quinn. I get why they couldn't be there but it would have been nice if someone would have acknowledged and addressed their absence. Overall, big upgrade from last two episodes - very emotional and real. Gonna miss Finn - he was my favorite character.
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Not to be picky, but the phrase "balled through the whole thing" means that you had sex through the whole thing. I think you mean "BAWLED through the whole thing."
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Pardon my ignorance but why weren't BRittany and Quinn in the episode? To be honest i totally didn't even notice their absence, but its true, why weren't they included? Scheduling conflicts? Thanks
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Heather Morris was pregnant at the time they filmed the episode (or she had just have her son, I don't remember). Diana Aggron (Quinn) stated that she wasn't going to be part of the episode but she didn¿t say why. Actually she refused to speak too much about Cory's death. Maybe she was too affected, I don't know.
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Argon was a very good, real life friend of Cory as was Puck and Santana. I believe that's why their parts hit very hard. I don't blame Dianna not wanting to take part in it. People grieve in different ways, and I am sure some people wondered whether this was more of a ratings grab than an actual memorial to Finn. The episode "Blame it on the Alcohol" shows Finn being the only cast member that didn't drink at all and he had some great lines during that episode. His cause of death would be too confusing. In real life Cory has always struggled with addiction and so the Finn character was not a portrayal of the actual actor. I am done with Glee though, I loved the music and have many of their songs. Now they make me sad when I listen to them.
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i know the actor playing this character died but they are reflecting over a character without giving he audience any reason as to why he is gone no off-camera story line or anything. While i'm not an uber fan it made watching this episode pointless and incredibly frustrating. Especially now that the season is three episodes in and the season has gone no where, no plot point of any type has been advanced no new plots introduced, nothing at all! I know the death is a big shock to everyone so why not use that! I am now on the verge of not watching this series anymore because the show is now officially wasting my time. While I agree that the reflections and song choices were spot on this episode was missing meat it felt shallow and too light on.
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I totally agree, sadly :(
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I have mixed feelings about this episode. I loved all the songs, they made me miss the original cast so much and it was a great tribute to Cory Monteith, but I disagree with the decision not to explain his death. I understand that it couldn't be attributed to drugs, because Finn never had a drug problem but I was left feeling empty without *any* explanation.

The reality is the character of Finn died, and regardless of the fact Cory Monteith died in real life we got no real closure within the show. If any other show I watched killed off a character without explanation I would be livid, it's sloppy writing not explaining why a character who was once one of the leads on the show is no longer returning. I feel like this is especially apt considering how his death was handled, with the memorial for instance. I'm Australian so I'm not sure about what happens in the USA but surely for a memorial to be erected the cause of death would have to be significant? I'm sure a lot of high schools have former students die and their deaths wouldn't all be memorialised?

That's just me though, I think some explanation would have been better than none, it's fine to say "how he lived was important" which, yes, it was, but not giving the audience a how and why didn't sit well with me.
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Well, he wasn't just an average student. He was a wining quarterback, captain of a team of national champion glee club, had only recently left the school and had come back to help teach and every indication was that he was planning to return to teach there when he finished college. Also, ya know, it's a TV show.
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"winning" quaterback lol... but I take your point :)
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I understand that Glee needed a "grieving" episode, but I can't help but feel like they missed a real opportunity (terrible word for the situation, but go with it) to have a true effect on society, which is something it has been trying to accomplish since the beginning. As stated by many in the comments already, drugs can kill with just one use. I think that would have been a good way to address the dangers of drugs without really affecting Finn's established character. Making it a peer-pressure situation could have related to a lot of people watching. Like I said, I understand them needed a grieving episode, and I don't really have a problem with not addressing Finn's cause of death, but I hope they address the issue of drugs this season (obviously, with another character). Heroin use in teens is up dramatically. I think Glee could have actually done some good. I doubt they will address the issue, but it would be nice.
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I found this episode rather a mixed bag to be honest. On the one hand, it was the first episode in quite a while that seemed to have real heart in it. Since season...3 of so, it's pretty much seemed like the series existed purely for music sales, but this one had some real feeling in the songs & story and was much better because of it. It also had Mercedes singing and by god, I've missed that voice! On the other hand, Tina is, I guess, a certifiable sufferer of Narcissistic Personality Disorder and/or Sociopathy at this point. It was a pretty cheap jab at her and I really find the character assassination to be frustrating at this point. The other problem I felt, was the way in which Finn was deified. The retconning of some of his less savory traits and behaviors is not something I'm a fan of.
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About Tina, it would make so much more sense if she really had some personality disorder -.-
Mercedes made me cry..
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My missing of Brittany is a constant, but Quinn's absence here was very noticeable.
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Yes, I missed Quinn and Brittany.

Still an impressive episode though.
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i didnt want to watch the episode cuz i thought it'd be cheesy but it wasnt at all... it was a good one and i thought the decision to not say he died cuz of drugs was right cuz everyone already knows what happened in real life so no reason to bring that up on the show...
well brittany would certainly be on the episode if it wasnt for her baby i think, but quinn should have been... but apparently she wasnt invited cuz many ppl hate her, including lea, so i guess it wouldnt feel right in real life to have her on set... i did miss her but i think it was the rt move so ppl wouldnt feel uncomfortable...
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Seasons of love is about reflecting how a your goes by for every person. The second act of Rent takes place through an entire year ending on Christmas Eve the year after de First Act. It´s about how love connects all of the characters and they are moved by the love they feel toward each member of their tight group.
Popular culture has taken the song to be about reflection or something else, but it really has nothing to do with the death of Cory/Finn, except for maybe the connection through love part.
A more fitting Rent song would have been "Without you".
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While I agree for the most part that its out of context, many people know the song in the pop culture sense then the original purpose. Think about how many Bible verses, quotes from authors, heck how many movie/tv quotes are often mangled or misused. In fact thnk about how many sayings there are in the world that are mis attributed to shows. (i.e. Beam me up scotty! never actually said on star trek, but its always assumed as a start trek thing)

I guess my point is, in this episode that is reflecting and acknowledging the brief time that the actor as well as the character had, love is what's connecting them and even if its slightly out of context to RENT, it fits in the context of current pop culture.
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Amber Riley's performances in this episode, both in her solo and the group number, blew me away. We're used to hearing her belt it out, but the restraint in these numbers made them so soft, it was absolutely lovely.

Everything else was all heartache. I aching to see Cory again, some unseen footage, audio, anything. But of course there was nothing. There never will be.

Leah Michelle's strength is incredible.

Overall it was a painful, beautiful, fitting tribute.

But Glee's problem has always been follow through, and I'm not sure how they can follow that. I feel like I need a couple episodes for the show to gradually come out of the somber mood that was created here, but knowing Glee I fully expect to be yanked back into it's kooky reality next week.
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Wow, this episode was really, really sad. But I "only" caught myself crying three times. The scene with Kurt, Burt and Finn's mom was truly sad, and it was hard to watch Santana break down. The acting in this episode was really great. Naya, Chris, Matthew, Jane, Amber and Lea did a really good job.
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I'm not sure there was much acting in this episode.
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Well, I felt better after this episode. Despite the fact that I had never met Cory, I disliked his character, etc. etc., something in me broke when I heard he had suddenly died and I felt like it stuck back together while watching this episode. I loved Seasons of Love at the beginning, it's one of my favourite songs and it carries the same kind of sentiments in Rent as it did in this episode, as MaryAnne pointed out.

That's not to say that this was a good episode. I cried for three hours when one of the main characters is killed in the finale of Angel, and I still weep like a baby throughout the mass death at the end of Six Feet Under. I stayed dry-eyed throughout this episode and I think that takes skill.

There was a lot of crossover between the character and the actor, as I see a lot of people felt as well. It did very much feel like people were coming to terms with their own grief while trying to play a character who was also grieving. I also noticed the discrepancy between Finn and Cory's ages - Finn is four years younger than me and seeing 1994 flash up on screen made me feel old. Usually feeling old makes me feel like I'm going to die sooner, but then I thought, some people die even sooner than that...

I really feel that they should have mentioned a cause of death, it's usually a major topic of conversation for people who have been bereaved as they try to make sense of what happened. But I think it would have been terrible to inject real life in by making him die of a drug overdose - Finn didn't use drugs, and it would have been unnatural, and quite likely too hard for the cast to do well. If I were Ryan Murphy, I would have just had him get hit by a bus. You have the same sudden, unexpected loss, and it's something that happens to 19 year old men all the time, certainly more often than drug overdoses, and it doesn't require us to have any kind of moral discussion about it.

But you know what, there aren't many instances where one of the main stars of a major television series ups and dies unexpectedly, and they gave it a good go given the limitations they had to deal with. The only other thing I will say is that I use Primewire to watch Glee episodes, and the promotional image they use for the show is of the original cast in Season 1, and my heart sinks a little every time I see it now.

Finn RIP.
Cory RIP.




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I made it through the episode without crying but that doesn't mean it wasn't a very emotional and powerful episode. I know that the acting was exaggerated, but you know they still managed to make it convincing enough to make it feel real. The closest I think I was to tears in that episode was the Puck/Bieste locker room scene, it was exactly how I'd expect Puck to act in this situation. I guess now we know why we won't see him again, interesting decision.

I will be opposite side of the author here in that I wanted there to be a cause of death. I think this would have been a great thing for Glee to use as a plot device. I certainly understand why they didn't do it and I think it makes sense, but I personally think cause of death would have added a little bit to the story. Still though it was a powerful tribute.

One final thing, kudos to Emma for putting Tina in her place, thought that was a funny little break to this emotion fest.
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They made it convincing enough?? The show's creator said for almost every scene they used the first take because no one could go on after that. Cast and crew. They had crew members leaving the set sobbing. This tribute was not really "acted". They all lost a good friend and co-worker so for you to say their acting was exaggerated is downright rude!
I do agree though, that the Tina spot was a much needed laugh break.
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No one can deny that this was a raw and powerful episode. I unfortunately broke my own rule about not reading the comment section of the various articles written about the episode and there seems to be a lot about how this episode should have focused on drug addiction and how the actor died.

I think Glee did an excellant job in honoring the character (not Cory) that was true to Finn Hudson and true to how grief is expressed in very different ways. It was a simple episode and usually when Glee does simple it works way better than their over the top high production ones. I don't need to know how the character died nor do I want to know. I'm more interested in how this will continue to affect the characters that are left to grieve.

I think too many people want Cory Montieth to be Finn Hudson in real life and in truth he wasn't. There is enough media covering the details of his death it doesn't need to be done in the show as well. I only know what I know from interviews, and what I know is that he supported various charities. He was honest about his struggles and thankful for the oportunites Glee gave him. I see it as a reminder that we are not perfect and we all have struggles and demons to overcome. Sue Sylvester may not want to take a lesson from his death but I will.
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Thank you so much for this comment. Especially the part about how Cory taking drugs and ODing doesn't mean he was a bad person or a person that didn't deserve love or admiration. You worded my thoughts exactly in an eloquent way.

This episode was slightly different than I expected, but by God, it was so emotional. Finn deserved it. And Cory deserved it. He was a talent who died way too young. May he rest in peace!
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I think it was a very beautiful tribute episode,although I agree on how private it felt. Because it was and it was honest and true. It was hard to episode and not cry. I cried and a lot.
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This was a really good and emotional episode. I think if they hadn't prerecorded their songs and lipsynced them "live" they wouldn't have been able to make it through their songs, particularly Lea Michele who looked like she was physically trembling while she was singing and her throat was probably closing up.
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I disagree about the Shooting Star episode, seeing their fear in the music room was better than showing shooter, police catching him blah blah blah like most shows try to sensationalize a school shooting. The follow up was not well done.

The 3 weeks seemed weird to me too. But I like that they did the episode as they did, it was tasteful. I was bawling through the whole episode. What really hit me was Sue's line "It's all so pointless, all that potential" it just how I feel about the actor's death. RIP Cory Monteith
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This was the hardest episodes I have ever had to watch. But I do agree that there was no need to reveal the cause of death, the is episode was a close to perfect as it could get. It saddened me that all the emotions were real, they characters actually lost a friend. The most powerful scene was with Finn's mom hands-down. This episode was portrayed beautifully, the actors were amazing,. My eyes definitely were not dry by the end of the episode. R.I.P. Finn Hudson/ Cory Monteith
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"This is where Kurt came in, picking up where Sue's fourth-wall acknowledgement left off, arguing that the most important thing about Finn (and Cory Monteith, by extension) isn't how he died, but how he lived and what he left behind."

While I don't mind this sentiment for Finn, I'm not a fan of extending it to Cory. His death does say something about how he lived.
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Glee missed another opportunity to take on a deeper issue that would be relevent mostly for its teen audience choosing to ignore the problems of addiction and depression that could have been tackled even in some minor way.

In my opinion the writers have been playing it safe over the past couple of seasons which I think is the cause for the dwindling audience. Another reason for this is the writers still concentrating on the alumni that have apparently left the school, giving less screen time for the new characters to develop and for the viewer to emphasize with.

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If Glee took issue on addiction during this episode, I'm pretty sure a lot more people will complain about it and say its another Ryan Murphy PSA. Glee couldn't even handle the school shooting issue properly because they never really followed it up. Tackling a serious issue while memorializing someone who died, would just be a train wreck waiting to happen. And like the poster above me said, The character Finn didn't have drug addiction problems, it wouldn't make sense if that was Finn's cause of death.
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Finn was partying at college, drinking, making grilled cheese sandwiches with an iron... it would be no stretch of the imagination for him to have used something at one of these parties that killed him.
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Plus let's also recall he was discharged from the army for shooting himself. There's probably a lot of ways they could have had the character die...
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I don't think they could do a major storyline to the cause of death, you are right, they would screw that up.
On the other hand a person does not have to have a history or drug addiction to die from it, many people have died just from thier first encounter with drugs. Also problem drug use is usually hidden. Finn could have died from a one-time drug use.
The writers could have done a better job, a small mention would suffice. Small enough to not spoil the memorial, but enough to send a message to the dangers of problematic drug use.
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The problem there, though, is that while Cory had problems with addiction, Finn didn't. It would be a diservice to the character to suddenly have him - entirely off screen - have a drug related death when the character never actually did drugs.
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As above, Finns character does not have a history of drug use, but you dont a long term addiction to die from mis-use of drugs.
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Except your initial statement was that they missed an opportunity to touch on the issues of depression and addiction - neither of which Finn had prior to Cory's death. Anything they added now would have had to have been done completely off screen, and in the long run it would have been a disservice to the character. There is absolutely no need to kill a character in a way that mirrors the actor's death if the issues surrounding said death don't correspond with what's been done with the character. I'm not saying that they couldn't have very easily found a way to kill Finn that would have been completely in character, just that a drug overdose - just for the sake of connecting it to Cory's death (which in itself touches on the issue for viewers who haven't figured that out yet) and turning the memorial into an after school special.

Personally, I think that had they given Finn a drug-related cause of death then that would have overshadowed the episode, instead of it being about those left behind (both fictional and real) remembering their lost loved one. Given as Cory was friends (if not more) with so many of his co-workers, I think it would have been disrespectful to them to change an episode that was as much about them as it was about him to turn it into a PSA - and that's without even considering how well Glee handles the big issues.
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i felt that this review is very short and only cover the general aspect of the episode.. I wish that you could also review the performances and each storylines in the episode
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Of course it was short. There's really nothing a critic can do with this episode without coming off like an asshole.
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Well it was a difficult episode to apprehend due to the fact that the death of Finn wasn't just a way of getting an actor out of the show. But the actor is really dead. And I wasn't upset by the fact they didn't tell how Finn died, that wasn't really the story, for those who need it just tell that it was a car accident!
I didn't really miss Quinn and Britany because I'm not a big fan of them but Quinn's character had some history with Finn and she could have been here.
One thing I found weird was the date of birth 1994 for Finn and 1982 for Cory, it's not easy to separate reality and fiction. And it's always weird for me to think that most of teenagers are played by adults and often with a big difference of age. Like Cory and Finn, 12 years!!
That was a very emotional episode and I liked it for most part. Time line sucked of course. 3 weeks is a lot and it will be weird to continue to watch the show like nothing happened... Because I think that on next episode Finn won't be mentioned anymore! I wonder if the picture will stay on the wall.
Oh It's a shame that Mr Shue didn't get a song.
Of course some of the actors was Cory's friends not to mentioned Lea, so for them it was hard to do it again. Tribute in real life and there again in the show. In fact I wouldn't have been so surprised if Rachel didn't appeared on this episode.
All that said it's sad what happened. RIP Cory and all my sympathies to all his friends and family.
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When they were talking about a 19 year old dying I was like...wait isn't he like 30?
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My point exactly :)
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So heartbreaking. A lot of the episode felt so real and so personal that it seemed to blur the lines between actor and character. I cried through the whole thing.
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The episode was well-acted and heartbreaking. However, I felt that some of Santana's scenes were actually meant for either Rachel or Quinn. I don't know.
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I agree, but I can see why they did it like that. Dianna was likely unable to make it because she's working on other projects, and they seemed to intentionally minimize Lea's part, likely because it was too hard for her. That can, and should, be respected; the show seemed to take from the actors what they were able to give of their grief and let those for whom it was too much stay behind a bit.
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It's been in the news that Dianna was not "personally" liked by Lea or Ryan Murphy and that is why she wasn't on this episode. Which I think is crap....her and Finn had a relationship and she should have been there or at least they should have given a reason why she wasn't there. People need to realize that this episode was as much for the fans as it was for the actors. Get over yourselves and do the right thing.
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Ah.. Yeah, that would make sense as to why she hasn't been overly involved in the show since she left.

The reason why Quinn wasn't there is very easy to explain; she's not going to school in state and unlike her New York counterparts she doesn't have the money to blow on frequent trips back home. Likely she was there for the funeral.
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I enjoyed this article up until it seemed to say that the show should have been cancelled when Cory died. The show had already been renewed by Fox for both a fifth and sixth season a few months before he died. Filming was set to take place soon after he died, although they delayed it a bit.
Abruptly cancelling it because of Cory's death would have put the cast and crew out of work, when they had expected to have the show for another two years. Furthermore, it wouldn't have done the show or the fans a service in any way. Other shows have been able to continue on after the death of a cast member, I can't see why Glee should be any different.
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Being a Tina fan, I can't believe they did that to her character. Now everyone will think worse of Tina.

I thought Carole, Finn's mom, had the most emotional part in the episode. That scene made me tear up the most.

Ryan Murphy said quite a few times and quite vocally before the season started that he will not reveal how Finn died in the show. If people are complaining about that, they were warned before hand.

It might be annoying to see that after the two weeks hiatus, everything about Finn will almost be forgotten. But that is life right? When someone dies, people are suppose to move on eventually. They paid their respects and like what Finn's plaque says "The show must go...all over the place or something."
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I do need a cause of death. I don't like skipping all the "stuff". I want to see the reactions to his death the moment they find out, not three weeks later when you have done all of the heaving crying. This was just, blah, someone singing and everyone else looking sad.
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I think picking it up 3 weeks after was the right way to go. They've gotten over the initial reactions to how he died, and can focus more on how he lived. If it started right after his death, the show would have been nothing but crying.
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My problem with the timeline is what it suggests going forward. They have to graduate the seniors within the next two episodes right? Last week was prom and we were told this episode took place three weeks after he died. Assuming he died the week of prom, this episode would have taken place a month later and conventional wisdom leads me to believe in real life this episode would have taken place during the last (or second last) week of school. Now I know Glee doesn't operate in reality so its very likely they'll milk these last days of high school until mid-season or even until the finale but it's going to be very hard for me to take seriously.
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